OBMC aims for 1st Asian School to join Youth and Peace in Action
Last April 8, 2022 saw O.B. Montessori hold its Youth and Peace in Action Club General Assembly. This initiative is a peace education program of Rotary International, designed by NewGen Peacebuilders Executive Director Patricia Shafer.
The Origins of YPA
YPA is a network of US and Caribbean-based young peacebuilder clubs. They are supported by Rotary Clubs across the United States with the goal of building sustainable public service peace projects. These projects aim to address specific issues in society, including homelessness, education inequality and environmental issues.
This movement for peace education began in 2013, where Rotarian Rick Manganello encouraged then-Rotary Peace Fellow Shafer to develop NewGenPeacebuilders with the aim of building sustainable peace through public service projects.
With an active demographic of 3 billion people under 30 years old, YPA and NewGen Peacebuilders have made it its mission to make peacebuilding a rite of passage for today’s youth.
Shared Beliefs of Peacebuilding
OBMC was introduced to the NewGen Peacebuilders through President and COO Sara Soliven-De Guzman’s connections to Rotary International. With both institutions sharing similar values and beliefs of building peace, the decision to join the YPA was soon made.
Maria Montessori herself advocated peace through the work of education, as well as rights for women and children. It’s this belief that is also present in the Montessori system of education offered by OBMC.
OB Montessori’s Path to YPA
Planning for YPA membership started as early as January 2022, with recruitment of club members for all OB campuses.
Training and orientations lasted from February to March, where club members and moderators learned more about the YPA’s My Peacebuilder Foundations Course. This May 2022, members of each campus are presenting their own peace projects to the YPA organizers after completion of the online Peacebuilder module courses.
These projects are set to be implemented from April to June 2022, where results of these projects will be shown, along with future plans.
Benefits of the YPA Membership
O.B. Montessori Center will become the first Asian school to join the YPA. The knowledge and experience gained from the Peacebuilder Foundations Courses can be used to improve the Leadership Training curriculum to develop the leadership and project management skills of the Professional High School students. These in turn, will help them become a catalyst for positive change in society.
Membership in the YPA can also mean opportunities to expand the services of Operation Brotherhood in uplifting the quality of life in the local scene. These projects include child and adult literacy programs for the Aeta and fisherfolk communities, as well as the Trash to Trees project with assistance from the Philippine Coast Guard.